Wallace (1272 – 1305)
Wallace was born in January in 1272 in the Scotish city of Elerslie (near
Glasgow), very few before his future great enemy, Edward I, of the
Plantagenet house, took the thrown.
with your sword.
He lived his first
years in a climate of tensions and disputes that ocurred between the
numerous Scotish nobels after King Alexander III´s death.
Between his 14 and 16
years, he lived in Dunipace, with a clergyman who was his uncle, with who he
studied the classics in latin.
At this early age, he
was already 2 metre tall, and he was considered almost as a giant according
to the average of that times, he was also very strong, and he could speak
His father´s death, his mother´s exile and
the oppresive system with which his people were living because of English
pressure made him to abandon the ecclesiastical career.
Then, tired because of the English oppresion
and authority, he united with other youths becoming a gang of foragides. He
went with them to Loudun Hill, where the English knight Fennwick who had
killed his father lived.
They were formed just with 50 men, against
the 200 English soldiers; but, even though, more than half of the English
ones died, including Fennwick.
Wallace battled against the English with its famous swords.
Wallace´s men, apart from enjoying their
first victory, found a considerable number of weapons and horses. Wallace
became a foragide whose head was worthwhile.
His little army refugiated in the Ettrick
forest for 5 years. Together with his men, he visited villages taken by the
English to know the enemy and he created guerrilla warfares with his troops
provoking many losts.
Apart from all that, he could court young
Marion Braidfute, who lived in Lannark, a city governed by the sheriff
Hazelrig, who, to make Wallace to go to his city and then capture him , he
killed Marion´s brother. And he effectivelly arrived, but although he
caused a considerable killing among the English soldiers, he had to come
back to the forest without arriving to his lover´s home. Then, the sheriff
Hazelrig, because he couldn´t capture him, he killed Marion.
Revenge didn´t wait. Wallace and all his
men, attacked during the night, and he left alive just the women and the
religious. That increased his fame, and many more Scotish united him and the
English troops suffered their war of guerrillas widely and along Scotland.
of William Wallace with your sword.
King Edward ordered 40.000 soldiers and 300
horse riders to solve the Scotish problem, commanded by the English Gobernor
from Scotland, John of Warenne. The first great confrontation took place in
Irvine, in July 1297; many Scotish nobels didn´t want to participate
because they didn´t want to be under the command of someone who they
considered of an inferior rank. Wallace had to go northwards, although he
followed the English afterwards when they were thinking that the problem was
The following great confrontation would be
decissive by neccesity: a numerous and perfectly armed army, with many
veterans of the wars of Flandes and Wales, against those who, till that
moment, had just participate in guerrillas and they were just armed mainly
with lances, axes and knives.
of William Wallace
The battle took place in 11th
September in 1297, in the bridge of Stirling, that broke with the weigh of
the English cavalry, facilitating Wallace´s victory. Although he suffered
the lost of his best friend: Sir Andrew Moray. Many other victories followed
this one, including the taking of the Castle of Edingburh. And that´s how
Scotland was appearing free of English.
Then Wallace saw that there was another work
to do: to restore the commercial and diplomatic routes with the other
countries, as they were with King Alexandre III.
He was elected as the Guardian of Scotland,
tittle that was almost equivalent to the naming of King (the authentic John
Baliol, was imprisoned in London; later he was exiled to France, from where
he didn´t come back).
Alarmed by the English defeat, Edward I came
back from Flandes, where he maintained another war, and he went personally
to Scotland with an enormous army that was going on by the north of England,
where Wallace had also conquered several cities, and he provoked the Scotish
who were there to escape.
of one of the battles that William Wallace maintained.
Then Wallace used the practique of the burnt
territory, in order that the enemy could not find supplies on their way, but
this was predicted by the English king, to who the supplies were arriving by
boat from Ireland, although they sinked sometimes because of storms.
Apart from this great power, three times
bigger than the Scotish, Wallace was betrayed by two of his nobels. In the
battle of Falkird, in spite of the good idea of confronting the assalt with
the English cavalry by situating the lances firmly fasted on the floor, the
Scotish were defeated and the English king offered an important reward for
from the defeat, he had to support the own Scotish nobels´scorn, who named
Guardians of Scotland to Robert Bruce and John Comyn, this one, Johnm
of William Wallace with your sword.
he had lost the ambition of the winner of all the battles, his condition was
decissive for the nobels to retire their support. To make things worse, King
Edward decree an amnesty for all those who combated for Scotland, excluding
Wallace, who was again a foragide. He also named king to John Comyn.
It seems that Wallace was in France, where
Felipe IV offered him nobel tittles and the goverment of a territory, but
his love for his country made him to come back in 1305. He was there again
betrayed. This time by Sir John of Menteith, his friend and partner in
battle in the past, who introduced one of his nephews at Wallace´s gang, in
order to know everything he was doing.
He was able to take him to the Castle of
Carslile, where he was imprisoned. From there, he was taken to London
strongly kept and tied to a horse, in a long trip during 17 days.
He was accused of high betrayal, what he
denegated, because he had never made and oath to the English King, and he
was sentenced to die at the same day.
of William Wallace
The details of his execution are specially
turbulent, even thinking in the cannons of that period. He was dragged with
two horses along the streets of London and the people were throwing him
stones till he arrived to Smithfield, where it was the place to serve his
There he was hanged for a short time, just
enough to lost conscience. They took him down, and while he was still alive,
they cut his genitals, they opened his stomach and they took his intestines
out that were burnt; finally, they cut his head and they put it over a stick
at the bridge of London, while his hands and feet were sent to four
different parts in England.
In Alberdeen, where they sent his left foot,
the rest of his body was buried. This type of execution against betray was
introduced in England by the Normas and it was taken in practice till the 18th
century and it may had been used frequently. We have to take into account
that there is the called Door of the Traitors in the Tower of London.
It is told very much about William
Wallace´s sword, which is done in the traditional type to be used with both
hands, it is aproximately 66 inches long, being its blade 52 inches long.
The quality of its metal suggest its Scotish origin, although some other
swords from this period were made in Finland or Germany.
sword of William Wallace.
fight for the independence of Scotland continued, in 1314 Roberto "the
bruce" took the commands of the rebellion and he combated with the
English till he obtained the independence in 1320. Then he was named King
Robert I of Scotland. Although he never forgot his betrayal to Wallace in
the battle of Falkirk, and at his death bed, he ordered that his heart had
to be taken to the crusades looking for his God forgiveness for his past
I died at the begining of the 14th century and it was his son
Edward II who gave the independence to Scotland, so required by William
The question is that
William Wallace, the hero, has passed from History to the myth and legend,
and millions of Scotish, and even inhabitants from other countries, wanted
to be reflected with the capable diplomatic, the persistent fighter, the
brilliant estrategic, the giant warrior (according to the chronicles of that
times, he was two metres tall) and specially to the desafiant idea, so
attractive and mistified as the independence is, at all senses, to which
William dedicated consciously his life, and unconsciously his posterity.